22 October, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 03/30/2005
CHINA
No children allowed in Xinjiang churches

Yining (AsiaNews/Forum 18) – Children are not allowed inside Catholic churches in Xinjiang (north-western China), this according to Fr Sun Zin Shin, a Catholic priest in Yining (Ili-Kazakh autonomous prefecture), who spoke to Forum 18.

Father Sun said one schoolboy who managed to get into last December's Christmas service in Nilka (120 km east of Yining) despite a police checkpoint to prevent this was subsequently beaten by his teacher who had seen him go inside.

The clergyman said that in Nilka state officials visit Catholic families and warn them that they would have "problems at work" if their children do not stop attending church. He complained about intimidations by local authorities and strict controls over minorities designed to keep them away from religion. Religious groups come in fact under the jurisdiction of the Religious Affairs Bureau (RAB) and interference has reached the point that the authorities even demanded Catholics reduce the size of the cross on their church.

Father Sun is adamant: "We are citizens and taxpayers just as much as the atheists, but in the eyes of the state we are second-class people," he said. "We have the absurd situation that we are paying taxes and these same officials and law-enforcement agencies watch us and prevent us from professing our faith". What is worse, according to Father Sun, holding services anywhere but in the four registered churches of the prefecture is banned.

"In many towns we don't have a registered church, but we have parishioners," he explained, "yet we are categorically forbidden to hold services in private apartments under threat of several days' administrative arrest. The authorities basically regard believers as potential terrorists. I am not afraid to speak about this openly. I want the whole world to know about the problems of believers in the Xinjiang-Uighur Autonomous Region".

Yining is 100 kilometres (60 miles) east of the Kazakh border and 600 kilometres (375 miles) from the capital Ürümqi.

Orthodox Christians don't fare much better even though for them the main problems are the lack of clergy and places of worship.

Under Chinese law foreign clergymen can work in China only if they have a permit from the central government in Beijing and for now there are no Orthodox priests who are Chinese citizens.

In December 2003, the dean of the Zharkent prefecture of the Astana and Almaty Orthodox diocese of neighbouring Kazakhstan, Fr Vianor Ivanov, spent a week under house-arrest in Yining and was then deported from China for illegally working with local Orthodox believers.

Protestants are more cautious. Luda Li, the pastor of the local Protestant church, said that she and her community had no problems with the authorities since they closely adhere to RAB rules.

She said the rules forbid holding services except in registered churches, adding that baptisms can be performed only after prior authorisation from secular authorities. Similarly, religious marriage is allowed only after it has been registered with civil authorities.

Ethnic Uighur and Dungan imams and Yen Shi, the only local Buddhist monk, declined to talk to Forum 18 without RAB approval. Yen Shi did say however that "even local people who want to find out about Buddhism have to get the permission of the Religious Affairs Bureau before talking with me".


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
12/12/2006 CHINA
Christians tortured in Xinjiang, Anhui church forcibly shut down
02/13/2007 NEPAL
Elevation to Apostolic Vicariate, “pope’s gift to Nepal”
by Prakash Dubey
12/20/2004 CHINA - VATICAN
New regulations for controlling religions
by Bernardo Cervellera
09/01/2005 CHINA
More than 10,000 faithful attend the funeral of Mgr Xie, underground Bishop of Mingdong
09/06/2005 INDONESIA
Cardinal of Jakarta calls on police to protect churches from attacks by fundamentalists
by Moerkekaq Senggotro

Editor's choices
IRAQ - ITALY
Almost 700,000 euros raised as the 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' campaign continues
by Bernardo CervelleraA second instalment is sent with funds raised in September. The fate of East-West relations is being played out in the Middle East and Iraq. Pope Francis and the Synod issue an appeal. Governments are lukewarm. Aid is coming from around the world. A new international community is defeating the "globalisation of indifference."
IRAQ-VATICAN
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul": Archbishops’ thanks as first aid arrives
by Amel NonaMsgr. Amel Nona, the Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul, who is also a refugee himself, thanks all the donors to the AsiaNews campaign. The situation is increasingly difficult given the huge number of refugees and the arrival of winter and snow, making outdoor shelters and tents impossible. The crisis, an occasion that activates the faith of Christians.
ITALY - IRAQ
After raising € 350,000, 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' campaign continues
by Bernardo CervelleraDonations raised up to 31 August have been sent to the patriarch of Baghdad and the bishops of Kurdistan. The campaign helps to feed, house, clothe, and bring comfort to more than 150,000 Christian, Yazidi, Turkmen, Shia and Sunni refugees who fled the violence of the army of the Islamic Caliphate. People in Italy and around the world have been generous, including the poor and the unemployed, a sign of hope for the world as well as those who suffer and those who give.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.